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Carnival Vista: 3 restaurants you’d love to try

July 6, 2016

On Tuesday, on my blog I gave you 5 reasons to go on holiday on a cruise. While this kind of holiday can be the perfect choice for families and for people who like to explore new places without renouncing to all comforts, it can also be a lovely alternative for the most demanding gourmets. What stroke me the most is the centralized system that allows to manage the inventory. When you are on a ship you cannot go grocery shopping every day or just drop in the nearest store when you run out of something. Therefore, you need to predict the needed amount of food and store everything in the right way. It is important to avoid waste and meet all the clients’ needs at the same time.

While Italy is the nation of captains and officials of Carnival cruises, India is the nation of chefs. While chatting with Justin French, Carnival’s Managing Director, I found out that Indian chefs are the best at preparing every kind of food, constantly keeping high standards every time.

Chefs on such cruises not only have to coordinate all restaurants’ kitchens, but they also have to manage the provision of ingredients and existing leftovers. Restaurants on board are very cheap at dinner and free at lunch, thus contributing to a lovely cruising experience.

These are the 3 dishes that more than others deserved a special place in my heart:

  1. New England Crabcake at “Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse” – one of the specialities of the restaurant, this is a very traditional and popular dish in the United States, a wonderful crabcake served on a Remoulade of roasted peppers. Among the other dishes on the menu you should also try the grill specialities that count both meat and shellfish.
  1. Jiaozi at “Jii Asian Kitchen” – dim sum with shrimps, pea pod cream and a side of salad, radish and apples. Jii’s kitchen embraces all kinds of Asian food and in the menu you will find a map indicating the origin of every dish. Not only you will be able to choose by the nation (China, Thailand, Mongolia, Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia), but you will also have the opportunity to choose characteristic dishes of selected regions, such as this Jiaozi, a typical dish from the Nanjing region in China.
  1. Paccheri with crisp zucchini and mussels at “La Cucina del capitano” – Quality Italian food with international influences. The starter with caponata, cold cuts and toasted bread is very tasty, just like this wonderful paccheri dish (or, as pronounced on board, “Paccéri”) and the traditional desserts. This restaurant is said to be the Captains’ favourite, since the menu follows the original recipes written by the officials’ mothers.




Proteins From The Future Haute Cuisine recipes: Garbanzo Beans Tempeh by Daniela Cicioni

March 29, 2016

There’s another person who loves legumes as much as I do: she’s Daniela Cicioni, a great free lance chef who uses with great mastery fermentations and all of the raw cuisine techniques. Legumes are easier to digest when fermented, their nutritious content is easier to absorb and there are less potential inconveniences. Daniela experimented various variations, one of which presented this year at the Identità Golose event. The one that follows is her recipe for preparing the tempeh at home. Not the tempeh that you could easily buy at the supermarket, but one certainly tastier, prepared with Italian legumes, fresh and super lively. To follow a recipe to prepare it, a haute cuisine dish to inspire you for you own domestic version.

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– 500 g of peeled garbanzo beans, soaked in cold water for 8-12 hours

– 2 C of apple or rice vinegar

– 1,5 c of starter (Rizophus oligosporus)

– 2,5 l of mineral water


Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Put them in a thick bottom pot with the water and the vinegar. Cook for 20-25 minutes from the boil. Let it simmer slowly.

Rinse them well, put them back into the pot and rinse them on a low heat for at least 3 minutes while also stirring so that they do not stick to the bottom, or use a hairdryer.

Move them into a large glass or steel basin and gently turn them over once in a while to dissipate the heat. The basin can be put in a container full of cold water to accelerate the cooling procedure. After at least 15 minutes, the garbanzo beans should have reached around 35°C, at this point inoculate little by little the starter, mixing for 2 minutes and being careful to spread it out evenly.

Move the inoculated garbanzo beans in the bag previously pierced with a toothpick (make holes at a distance of 1 cm each) or in a perforated bag for vegetables.

Spread the garbanzo beans so that a 2 cm layer is formed, flatten it with a spatula or with your hands.

Cut the bag excess, fold the side and close it with staples or by burning the sides with a lighter.

Move the obtained block in the incubator and incubate for 32-36 hours at 30-31°C. After 15 hours the tempeh will produce heat, so check that the temperature doesn’t increase too much. In this case, lower the power or turn off the oven light.

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 “Garbanzo beans tempeh, parsnip cream, fermented garlic pearls, chia seeds fillo dough and red cabbage sauce” by Daniela Cicioni



– 250 g of garbanzo beans tempeh

– 40 ml of extra virgin olive oil

– Salt


– 90 ml of red cabbage extract

– 14 g of chia seeds

– Minced aniseeds

– 1 pinch of salt


– 250 g of parsnip

– 15 ml of cooking water + 30 ml to blend it to cream once cooked

– 30 ml of bio corn oil

– 30 ml of agaves syrup

– 13 g of cashew nuts, soaked in water for 4 hours and then rinsed

– 20 full dried chamomile flowers + 10 (only for the pollen)

– 20 aniseeds

– 3 drops of lemon juice (plus the peel of ¼ of a lemon)

– 1 pinch of salt

– 1 pinch of chili pepper powder


– 40 g of fermented garlic

– 100 ml of water

– 1,5 g of powdered agar-agar

– 300 g of corn


– 50 ml of red cabbage extract

– 5 ml of agaves syrup

– Salt

– 1 g of mashed fennel seeds

– 0,6 g of powdered xanthan gum



– Warm up the oil in a thick bottomed pan, brown the tempeh on every side, move them on a plate and add salt.

CHIA SEEDS FILLO DOUGH (to prepare the day before)

– Pour the chia seeds and the aniseeds in the extract and let it rest for an hour, until a mucilage compound is formed.

– Spread it on two sheets of the drier a thin layer of compound and let it dry out for around 8 hours at 45°C.

– Let the wafer cool down, then obtain 12 circles with a 3,5 cm pastry cutter.

– Preserve it in the refrigerator in a hermetic container for at least 15 days.


– Peel and cut to pieces the parsnip

– Prepare an emulsion with the oil, the agaves, 10 chamomile flowers, salt and 15 ml of water.

– Vacuum-seal everything, cook for 50 minutes or until the parsnip tenders.

– Let it cool down in the bag, blend the parsnip with 30 ml of water, the cashew nuts, the remaining 10 clean chamomile flowers, the anise, the lemon, salt and powdered chili pepper.

– Put the cream into a pastry bag with a 12 mm smooth nozzle and preserve it cold. Warm it up at bain-marie when serving.


– Pour the corn oil in a narrow and tall plastic or steel container, close it and put it in the freezer for an hour. It will be used to cool down the pearl.

– Mash the garlic with the water, add the agar-agar and whip it. Simmer it for 3 minuts while stirring. Turn it off and let it rest for 3-4 minutes.

– Pour the garlic mash in a 5 ml syringe with no needle.

– Pour some drops in the cooled down oil little at a time.

– Let the pearls rest for at least a minute in the oil.

– Pick them up with a slotted spoon and rinse them on some absorbing paper, then put them in the refrigerator.


– Vacuum-seal or put in a glass container the extract, the fennel seeds and the salt. Let it rest for 8-12 hours, then filter the juice.

– Blend all of the ingredients with an immersion blender at slow speed until the sauce thickens, vacuum-seal it to remove the air bubbles and then move it in a container.


– 20 g of fresh minced Polypodium vulgare (false liquorice) radish

– 50 chamomile flowers (only the yellow interior part is going to be used)

– 10 g of dry red cabbage powder

– 12 dry purple Hibiscus siriacus (hibiscus) petals


Place some sauce commas at the centre of every dish, three tempeh cylinders and three cream dollops. Lay a fillo dough disk on each cylinder, the tip of a teaspoon of black garlic pearls and a hibiscus petal on the cream. Finish with the red cabbage powder, the minced false liquorice radish and the chamomile.

pastinaca ok

Chefs from all over the world, send us your recipe of the future, with legume sas the main ingredient. Mail me at

The rules:

  • legumes must be the absolute protagonists, better if used in an original way
  • Other protein-based food such as meat, fish, shellfish, mollusc, eggs are allowed but only if used as marginal elements in the recipe, better if of these products less noble parts are used, those that would be thrown out

I’ll be waiting for your recipes.



Proteins of future: Haute Cuisine Recipes – Black garbanzo beans brewed with bitter herbs by Cesare Battisti

March 11, 2016

When’s the last time you ate legumes? If you’re thinking about it it means that too much time has passed, and that it’s time to bring them back on the table, maybe even on the centre, main protagonists of a new dish. Because legumes don’t only represent the past, but also the future, because among all of the protein-based foods they are the ones that require less fertile soil (that increase its nitrogen base), less potable water and contribute in a lesser way to the climate change. Definitely in line with this idea is the recipe by Ratanà restaurant of Milan’s chef Cesare Battisti. In this dish there aren’t only simple legumes, but also a class of black garbanzo beans that basically still exists today thanks to Cesare, who became its main supporter and that through this product also supports the producer, his culture, the micro economy of that territory. The other ingredients are less noble parts of leeks, spring onions and other vegetables to decrease the wastes and so that nothing gets wasted.



Black garbanzo beans brewed with bitter herbs



  • 300 g of black garbanzo beans
  • 1,5 l of water
  • 15 g of salt
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 150 g of dandelion
  • The green part of 2 spring onions.
  • The skin of half a lemon.
  • 2 g of black wholepepper (pepe nero in grani)
  • 4 gills of dried of porcino mushrooms.
  • The green part of a leek.
  • If it’s the correct season, 50 g of nettles.
  • 1 goat robiola cheese
  • 3 spoonfuls of extra virgin oil.


The night before the preparation of the recipe, soak the garbanzo beans. Drain them and cook them since their cold with the water (1,5 l) and the salt for more or less 1 hour and 40 minutes, then drain them and mush half of them. In the meantime cleanse all of the vegetables and the herbs, keeping some soft dandelion leaves and put everything in a vacuum-sealed bag, with the slightly cracked pepper. Fill the bag with water (the proportion must be 1/3 of herbs and vegetables and 2/3 of water), seal the bag and cook it in a bain-marie at 65° for 3 hours, being careful not to leave the herbs brewing too long because it’ll become too bitter. For the serving, flavour the extra virgin oil with the thyme and lay it on the bottom of the dish, make some softened robiola cheese and some mashed garbanzo beans prongs, alternating between the two, add the intact garbanzo beans, filter the infusion of herbs, add it to the dish while still lukewarm, finish with the dandelion leaves.

This is the recipe that Cesare Battisti cooked today on the stage of Identità Golose for his speech “Sustainability, beyond rhetoric”.

Foto 06-03-16, 00 00 57

Chefs of all over the world, send us your recipe of the future, with legume sas the main ingredient. Mail me at The rules:

  • legumes must be the absolute protagonists, better if used in an original way
  • Other protein-based food such as meat, fish, shellfish, mollusc, eggs are allowed but only if used as marginal elements in the recipe, better if of these products less noble parts are used, those that would be thrown out

I’ll be waiting for your recipes.





Proteins of the future: Haute Cuisine Recipes – “Bonds and Legumes” by Franco Aliberti

March 11, 2016

How many times have you ordered a legume dish at the restaurant? How many times were they the dish protagonists instead of a mere side dish or a complement sauce? Very few. If then we take out the soups and first dishes cases, legumes are nearly absent from our tables and above all we almost never give them the value they deserve at our dining tables, that is as sustainable and highly protein-based food that can become second courses or unique dishes alongside cereals and vegetables. For this reason I challenged the best chefs in the whole world and I’m gathering all of their recipes for a project that I’ll disclose to the UN and to FAO.

Today’s recipe is a very refined dessert which is definitely consistent with my philosophy because it is legumes based, but it also enhance a sub product such as the cooking water, which is usually scrapped but in reality it is almost magical.

Foto 26-02-16, 18 23 51

The recipe is composed by 4 preparations that are later assembled in the dessert in a multi-layered kind of sphere. On the outside sandblasted beans and a crumbled legumes water meringue, on the inside a red bean mousse and a core composed by cannellini beans and raspberries. Basically cubic beans.

“Bonds and legumes” by Franco Aliberti. Recipe for 4 people


  • 100 g of red beans and cannellini beans cooking water
  • 125 g of powdered sugar
  • 1 drop of lemon juice


  • let the red beans and the cannellini beans soak for 12 hours in 2 different containers.
  • cook them in a pressure cooker with a bit of water for around 30 minutes.
  • drain the water and let it cool down.
  • whip the cooking water.
  • when it’s whipped, add the powdered sugar and the lemon juice little by little.
  • shape some meringue disks and bake them at 70° for around 3 hours.
  • when the baking is done, shatter the meringue to obtain some small nuggets.
  • keep the beans separately.



  • 250 g of cannellini beans
  • 400 g of raspberry pulp
  • 20 g of rice starch
  • 6 g of fish-glue


  • boil the raspberry pulp with the starch.
  • add the softened fish-glue.
  • mix the cannellini beans.
  • pour in moulds and freeze.


  • 200 g of mashed red beans (blend the beans which were cooked for the meringue)
  • 12 g of milk chocolate
  • 25 g of dark chocolate
  • 50 g of low mineralised water


  • Put the ingredients in the Termomix at 50°C for 10 minutes at medium speed.
  • Let it rest covered for 6 hours.


SANDBLASTED BEANS (fagioli rossi sabbiati)

  • 20 g of water
  • 50 g of sugar
  • 100 g of red beans


  • Boil the syrup for a few minutes.
  • add the beans, previously toasted in the oven.
  • mix until the sugar becomes white.
  • let it cool down and preserve it.

Presentation: Cut the cannellini beans and raspberry compote in cubes. Prepare a base mad out of the red beans mousse, put the compote cube on it and cover it completely, shaping it like a sphere. Crumble the meringue and use it to cover completely the sphere, put it on the plate and finis hit with intact and crumbled sandblasted beans.

Chefs of all over the world, send us your recipe of the future, with legume sas the main ingredient. Mail me at The rules:

  • legumes must be the absolute protagonists, better if used in an original way
  • Other protein-based food such as meat, fish, shellfish, mollusc, eggs are allowed but only if used as marginal elements in the recipe, better if of these products less noble parts are used, those that would be thrown out

I’ll be waiting for your recipes.





Proteins of theFuture: Haute Cuisine Recipes – Gianfranco Pascucci

March 11, 2016

You know those lost causes nobody would ever think to commit themselves to, those topics that hardly thrill anybody, so much that those who pursue them are not considered “normal”. Alright, I’ve got a weakness exactly for this kind of challenges: the more a thing is out of touch and a lost cause, the more I get thrilled by it. If then the challenge is issued by the UN and by the FAO, declaring 2016 the “international year of vegetables”, how can I resist? After all, what can you expect from somebody who has cooked for more than 10 years with all the waste everybody throws away or that regularly cooks in an electrical appliance such as the dishwasher, causing hesitant looks and so much more that you can expect. Well, this year you’ll hear me more on the subjects I care more about, because I will give my best so that they can become YOUR causes… and let’s hope they aren’t so lost. One of these are without a doubt legumes, to which I’ve already dedicated many posts examining the benefits, for the environment, health and the wallet, trying to debunk all of the believes for which many avoid them. Looking through food rich in proteins, legumes are the ideal candidates to face the challenge of feeding everybody (even when the world population will reach 10 billions) in the most eco-friendly way possible, even though they are almost absent from our tables, as much as in restaurant menus.

Foto 20-02-16, 20 08 31

Now’s the time to challenge our chefs, and who knows, maybe through their recipes you’ll try them more. At the end of the year we’ll award the best recipes, those that better answered the challenge to create a dish:

  • Where legumes are the absolute protagonists, better if used in an original way
  • Other protein-based food such as meat, fish, shellfish, mollusc, eggs are allowed but only if used as marginal elements in the recipe, better if of these products less noble parts are used, those that would be thrown out
  • Legumes love cereal, as taste but also as nutritional reasons, so the two ingredients together are perfect
  • Also perfect is the combination of fruits and vegetables to pleasure


The first recipe that I chose to publish is the one by Gianfranco Pascucci, Pascucci al Porticciolo’s chef, in Fiumicino. A recipe for 4 people.


Three good reasons to eat legumes: Savings

March 7, 2016

Why we should bring on the table legumes every day? First of all they are sustainable, compare to other food rich in protein legumes need less water, less soil, less energy and produce less greenhouse gas. The second good reason are healthy benefits, maximized especially if you combine legumes and whole cereals. So probably the mix pasta and beans is not so random.  If you really can not overcome to your prejudices read how to reduce or eliminate side effects that sometimes occur as the swelling!

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The third reason can convince you to choose in your weekly meal legumes, even to those who are not particularly sensitive to environmental issues, nor neither is too health-conscious but is very carefull about the purchase that every month we had to afford. Comparing how much we spend to prepare a dinner based on legumes instead based on other protein foods it’s obvious that we can save almost the 50% of the money!

  • Veggy menu – 7 euro
  • Meat menu 21,9 – using legumes –>14,9
  • Fish menu 18,5 – using legumes –>11,5
  • Mixed menu (red meta, white meat, pork, eggs, cheese and fish)  21,1 – using legumes 14,1

If we sum all the saving for one week we save from 11 to 15 euro, it’s mean that for a year we can save until 780 euro!!!

For who still have doubts about legume’s world soon I’ll collect creative recipes made by the bests chefs in the world!


Legumes 3 good reasons to eat them: HEALTH

March 4, 2016

Kidney bean, cannellini beans, lentils, chickpeas, black chickpeas, peas, beans, soy, lupins, Cicerchie, Roveja, Peanuts, Toscanelli, Dall’Occhio …These are at least 100 different varieties of legumes in the world. But how many are the good reasons to eat them often?

Have you heard about the fact that in the future we have to eat insects? Perhaps if we begin again to eat legumes there would be no need to talk about it, because legumes are best candidate, as protein food, that response to the challenge to feed 9 billion people n 20150. Why legumes? Because they combine environmental sustainability, savings and health benefits. Today I want to talk about their healthy benefits and the presence of the anti-nutrients.

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Probably if ONU and FAO says that 2016 is the “years of the pulses” they have their reasons. Among the properties of legumes we found that:

  1. They are rich in vitamins such as thiamine (B1), niacin (PP), folic acid, biotin (vit. H) and C
  2. They contain various minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and many trace elements and fiber
  3. They are an excellent source of protein (g of protein per 100 g of product: 37 Soybean dry, shelled dried beans 27, 24 Borlotti, cannellini 23, 23 Lentils, dried peas 22, Cheackpeas 21)
  4. They are suitable for those who are anemic during pregnancy for the intake of iron and calcium
  5. They reduce the risk of cancer, especially colon one
  6. They support glycemic control and help the lazy bowel

These are some of the reasons why we have to eat more legumes paying attention on the amount, the ideal portion is 40-50g (dried), in this way, they also reduce the effects of anti-nutrients

To know more about it I asked the opinion to an expert in nutrition and food science: IEO researcher and chef amateur Marco Bianchi:

Eating legumes is healthy?

Absolutely yes! They are very rich in protein! Even better if we combine them to cereals because this pairing helps us to create balanced and tasty dishes. Examples of “coupled”: beans and barley, chickpeas and brown rice, quinoa and lentils and soybeans and barley!

Which are the anti-nutrients contained in legumes? The anti-nutrients can be contained in various foods not only in legumes! However many of these are eliminated with a prior soaking, cooking and rinsing and others anti-nutrients rebalance themselves the moment when we consume them along with other foods such as cereals.

What to do before eat legumes?

  1. Keep it soak several hours for two days, changing the water a couple of times
  2. To cook cover with water, add a pinch of baking soda, a bay leaf or sage or a piece of Kombu seaweed that will help to make them more digestible and reduce swelling. Then cook them until they are tender. Add salt only after cooking
  3. To make them sprout place them in a colander and moisten to 2 times a day
  4. To make a flour grind them in a coffee grinder or in a domestic mill
  5. To To flake put them in a press or in flaker

Try to eat them often in small quantities and don’t forget all the varieties of this gourgeous ingredients!

#proteinedelfuturo #IloveLegumi